In most people, obesity is caused by eating excess food and moving out too less. If the consumption of energy is high from the regular diet, and if the energy is not burnt through exercise and physical activity, then the surplus energy will turn into fat. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey states that the intake of calories in the US population is increasing every year. The numbers have risen drastically in the past decade. Globally, more than one billion adults are overweight and about 300 million of them are obese.

There are many health problems caused by obesity such as premature deaths and illnesses like diabetes, heart diseases, fatty liver, gallbladder diseases, arthritis, and joint disorders. Obesity affects our daily activities like standing, walking etc. It is associated with many physiological and psychological disorders.

Few factors that are leading causes of Obesity

Eating habits

The energy value of food is measured in units called calories. On an average, an active man requires about 2,500 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, and a woman needs about 2,000 calories a day.

Foods which are high in sugar, salt, and fat are widely marketed and advertised. This encourages people to buy unhealthy food. Sometime when you are tired of cooking you may dream for a dinner in a fast food restaurant or may look out for a snack such as doughnuts, pizzas, vada pav, samosas, burgers, rolls, french fries, wraps, frankies, etc. Aren’t they mouth watering? But are they good for our health?

All these food items may be quick and easy, but they’re all processed foods and are not the healthiest options for your diet. It contains more calories and fewer nutrients. Not only food, but 60% of adults also consume at least 1 sugary drink a day.

Researchers at the University of Washington found that a diet of unhealthy food costs much less than healthy food. People are not physically active so the amount of calories consumed is stored as fats. This is the leading cause of obesity in people with low income.

Lack of physical activity

Obesity is the main cause of people whose work involves more of sitting. They travel home by cars rather than walking. People at home also tend to watch television, browse the internet, play computer games etc. Most of the times its difficult for people to take a walk as recreation centres and parks are not easily accessible. There is no enough exercise and the energy consumed is stored as fat in the body. Children too are more into indoor games, they don’t expend energy which contributes to obesity.

Daily physical activities with proper diet help in reducing weight. One should set a goal on how much to work out per day. Minimum 200 minutes (more than three hours) a week of moderately intense exercise is required to reduce body weight. Burning more calories than you take in is the basic recipe for weight loss.

Poor sleep, stress, and emotional factors

Lack of sleep affects the entire body, it also promotes hunger and appetite which can cause excessive intake of food which results in obesity. While sleeping, normally a person burns about 0.42 calories for every 0.45kg in one hour of sleep. More calories are burnt when a person is in a deep sleep. Calories burned during sleep are used to maintain essential functions in the body. Supervising and controlling the internal temperature, repairing cells and pumping blood are some of the nighttime activities that the body naturally does.

Stress and emotions again are linked to obesity.  People gain weight when they are sad, anxious, stressed, lonely, and frustrated. They tend to crave comfort foods that are high in fat or sugar. When there is more intake of carbohydrates it raises the serotonin level. “Serotonin is the body’s chemical.” These chemicals don’t tend to make smart food choices and we end up eating unhealthy food. People who suffer from chronic stress can also cause the body to release excess cortisol, a hormone critical in managing fat storage and energy. It increases the appetite and encourages cravings for sugary or fatty foods.

How to avoid obesity

  • Consume food that is healthy, low in fat and high in fiber
  • Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Take help from training healthcare professionals
  • Exercise or walk moderately for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Avoid animal-based fats and consume vegetable-based oil
  • Eat more vegetables, healthy nuts, fruits, and whole grains
  • Say NO to fatty and sugary foods
  • Eat healthy breakfast every day, do not skip it
  • Weigh yourself regularly

We all are aware of the consequences of obesity that can affect your health terribly, so walk more and eat less. Do what is required to maintain your body weight. Talk to a dietician on the nULTA app now!!